What is Colic?

Colic can be defined as an attack of crying on babies due to abdominal pain. This condition is very common which affects babies during their first few months. Now babies cry for different reasons. They may feel hungry, cold, hot, or a signal for you to change the diaper. However, the problem is when an infant cries despite the change of diaper, being fed, kept under the right temperature. If your child cries despite being well cared for, it may be colic!

Incessant, inconsolable crying without any reason may be a sign of colic.

Some Facts about Colic in Babies

  • Colic makes babies suffer from long bouts of crying for no obvious reason.
  • Colic may last for many weeks.
  • Mothers who smoke during pregnancy have higher chances of having a colicky baby.
  • Doctors diagnose colic to rule the possibility of other illnesses.
  • Many home treatments are effective in treating colic.
  • Colic usually appears a few weeks after birth.
  • The condition in babies may carry for up to four months.
  • Although colic makes babies cry a lot, it is not a dangerous condition.
  • Experts say that colic has no long-term effects.
  • An infant with colic will not stop gaining weight.


Types of Colic?

Renal Colic – This is a kind of abdominal pain caused due to kidney stones. The pain may be constant or appear in waves.

Painter’s Colic – This type may be caused by lead poisoning.

Biliary Colic – The pain is caused by a gallstone, blocking the cystic duct while making contractions.

Horse Colic – This is one of the symptoms of a number of diseases in horses.

Symptoms of Colic in Newborn Babies:

Here are some symptoms you need to watch out for:

  • Intense crying. This appears more like screaming or expression of extreme pain
  • Crying despite being fed, after changing the diaper, or no apparent reason
  • Extreme fussiness even once the crying is over
  • Crying and screaming at the same time (especially in the evening)
  • Reddening of the face, paler skin (around mouth area)
  • Stiff body (legs, arms)
  • Clenching of fists
  • An arched back
  • Tense abdomen
  • Symptoms may relieve after bowel or passing of gas
  • Sleep may be irregular and interrupted.

Some Tips

  • Try burping the baby. This will remove excess gas and air bubbles from the stomach and relax the baby.
  • Give your baby some tummy time.
  • Apply little pressure to the baby’s tummy. Place the infant face-down on your lap and gently rub or pat his back.
  • Keep the environment noise-free and calm around the baby. Also, use dim lights especially during the evening to pacify the baby. Playing soothing music may also help.
  • Give a warm water bath to the baby.
  • The gentle movement of the baby in arms or in the baby carrier may also help to soothe the baby. Else, cuddle her in the blanket.
  • Anti-colic or gas drops will help. However, make sure you give medications, which are prescribed by a pediatric after checking your baby.

When to Visit a Doctor

Excessive, inconsolable crying should be considered seriously. Take the baby to the doctor (pediatric) for an exam. The baby might be feeling pain or discomfort.